AR15 Trigger Buyer’s Guide: No Clickbait Edition

AR15 Trigger Buyer’s Guide: No Clickbait Edition

There are too many triggers on the market to “round them up”. Top ten lists suck when it feels the primary reason they exist is to drive you to How do you know you’re getting a legitimate Buyer’s Guide? You come here, that’s how. Will I earn commission from ANY of the trigger companies linked below? That’s a big fat NO. Negatory. Nada.

I do this for the cause. A Rifleman needs a good trigger.

Again, with the glut of triggers on the market, it is impossible to compile a “best triggers” list when we are dealing with a somewhat subjective subject. My goal here is to educate you and point you in a direction where you can obtain the right trigger for your needs. If I don’t have hands on experience with the product, then I am going to rely on data compiled by other sources to assist with this venture. Is your trigger finger ready? Let’s begin.

Budget Single Stage:

First up, let’s talk bare bones trigger upgrades. There are several products which are, essentially, cleaned up mil-spec triggers. These are dead nuts reliable designs that will offer you a cleaner trigger pull than the gritty trigger that came with your rifle out of the box. I have hands on with two products in this category, and both do the job adequately. Spikes tactical offers their ST Battle Trigger and coming up along side them head to head is the ALG Defense QMS and ACT. The QMS is just a clean mil-spec trigger, and the ACT is a hard coated mil-spec trigger. The ST Battle Trigger is also hard coated, so it runs head to head with the ACT.

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Having hands on with both the ALG ACT and the Spikes ST Battle Trigger, I can’t tip my hat either way. They both offer a smoother trigger pull than the stock trigger with less grit and are just as durable as the trigger your rifle came with. So which one to buy? Which state do you like more? Florida or Pennsylvania? If it’s Florida, go with Spikes tactical. If your a Penny fan, go with ALG. Seriously though, buy the one that’s on sale because they are both very similar products and offer an improvement over the stock trigger.

Budget Two Stage:

Let’s say you hate Florida because Florida. You hate Pennsylvania because of PenDot, and you hate single stage triggers. Also, you love Texas because your from Texas. Well I have the trigger for you. 


The “MBT” stands for Meticulously Built Trigger.

The Larue MBT retails for $124 if you have “plenty of time” to wait. It’s crafted by world Famous Larue Tactical and is quite cost effective for the product you receive. If you just want a simple, clean, two stage trigger that won’t break the bank, then Larue is one of the often recommended products.  While I don’t have hands on with this one, you can read about other user’s experiences with the MBT on countless forum threads. In that thread, you see it goes back and forth between Larue and Geissele. SO SUBJECTIVE!!! Well… one thing that’s not subjective is that the MBT is sold at a fair price and it can often be had for $99 dollars when on sale.


Geissele has its own section because dang it… they offer triggers for every “job” you can think of. If your like… hey, I am building a High Speed Match Varmint Gopher Annihilator then you would just need to stroll over to the Geissele web page, find the Super Dynamic HSMVGA trigger, and click the buy button. The trigger will be tuned specifically to the task of annihilating gophers in a national match setting.


Yea… you have to read the descriptions. No idea what they do different from the name scheme.

Seriously folks, Geissele makes triggers specifically for 3 gun, High-Power, Precision rifle, and all other manner of “jobs” a rifle might have. If you are looking for a drop in solution then big G may be what you are looking for. Prices range from $160 to $300 + (!) dollars. Having hands on with this brand, I will say they make a nice product and If you go with G your going to get a nice trigger. My SSA is a quality product and offers a clean break if not a bit of creep on the take up.

Popularity vs precision: Avoid the hype. 

Be aware that trigger threads often involve a Geissele v.s. Larue cage match. While both are excellent triggers, the popularity of these brands may often overshadow other brands that have developed triggers that are superior in one or more ways.

Mechanical Precision:

Your a mechanical engineer. You demand *measurable* precision. You don’t care where the dang thing is made as long as you can measure the performance with scientific methods. I have a recommendation:


Jeremy S. of TTAG evaluated a ton of drop in trigger groups in his article: “The AR-15 Drop-In Trigger Roundup“.  In that article he used a Dvorak Trigger Scan to measure the weight, creep, over-travel, and numerous other data points to find… mechanically “the best of the best”. Well it was no contest. In both objective and subjective measurements, Jeremy S. Crowned the Elftmann tactical 3 gun trigger the king. With the cleanest measurable break of all triggers tested and subjectively the best feel, it shows us that Elftmann are world class engineers. Scroll down that article and you can see it even beat the pants off the Geissele 3 gun trigger in the objective measurements. WOW. Retail on this family of products is from $169 to $269 dollars.

Have it Your Way:

You are a tinkerer. You love tuning things to perfection. Also, you enjoy a bit of history with your triggers. Good news. Wisconsin Trigger Co. MKII series is a tinkerer’s dream with a pedigree to boot. Coming in at around $180 to $210 dollars, this family of triggers has set world records in the past and present. While it was originally developed for the National Match circuit, Wisconsin Trigger co. has branched out with a tactical model as well. Each allows the second stage to be tuned to the shooters desired feel, and the MKII A3 (the flagship model) takes this even further with multiple trigger and hammer springs, disconector springs, adjustable 2nd stage, adjustable over-travel… and well you get the picture.


I was so impressed with the product that I am offering it a place on this guide and my general recommendation for a all-around awesome trigger. I just want to share this awesome product with you because it’s well priced, over-engineered, and made me feel bad for paying more money brand X triggers when the MKII A3 does more for less money.  If triggers are subjective, then what better to be able to tune your trigger just the way you like it? The MKII series of products allow you to do just that.

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Wrapping Up:

I hope you liked this little guide. May it guide you to trigger pull perfection. Again there are waaaay more products than this out there, but this list has some big dogs on it and if I included it, it is here for a reason. Something has to stand out from the pack, and these triggers do just that. If you have a trigger you would like to showcase next to these products, hit me up at [email protected] … but here is the thing. If the trigger isn’t as good, or doesn’t wow me in one way or another be it price, features, or something else… then it’s not going to make the cut. As usual these guides are a WIP so expect my thoughts on more triggers as time goes on!

Again guys thanks for reading. I make no money on any of the above trigger links in this guide, I just want to say that again. Why? Because click-bait gun sites are crap. Pure crap.

The need for a Nation of Rifleman cannot be diluted for the sake of a few bucks. 

Written by lothaen

1 Comment

  1. bonecrusherchiropractic · September 30, 2017

    The Bravo Company PNT trigger is very nice and similar to the ALG ACT and Spikes Tactical trigger. They’ve got a great lower parts kit that they offer which can’t be beat for value.

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